More Americans living paycheck to paycheck

More than a third of U.S. households say they live paycheck to paycheck.

Less than a third feel comfortable financially.

Only about a third think they can afford to retire by age 65.

Those are some of the findings in a new report by the Consumer Federation of America and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. More than 1,500 household financial decision-makers were surveyed.

The recession clearly has set households back in achieving their financial goals: compared to 1997, households are faring far worse financially.

For example:

– In 1997, 31 percent said they lived paycheck to paycheck. Now it’s 38 percent.

– In 1997, 38 percent said they were behind in saving for retirement, while 51 percent feel that way now.

– In 1997, 50 percent said they felt they could retire at 65. Now it’s just 34 percent.

38 comments Add your comment

Tolls Bane

July 24th, 2012
11:30 am

And is this a surprise to anyone? Unless you and your spouse are making 80K + per year, it is very very difficult to save for anything.

A typical mortgage is around $1000 or more per month, then add in the car payment, utilities, food (groceries for a family is over $100 per week, not including eating out), clothing, gas, car insurance, etc …

A true night on the town becomes a rare luxury, not to mention a vacation.

gadem

July 24th, 2012
11:30 am

I’ve been knowing that…I am 36 now and I continue to save towards my retirement. Between my two jobs (401k and Teacher Pension) and my IRA and CD’s I could live comfortably. If I get rid of those traps called student loans, I would be doing a whole lot better!

gadem

July 24th, 2012
11:32 am

@ Tolls…we try not to eat out but maybe once a month. I am very frugal. I would rather sacrifice some luxuries now.

Trolls Bane

July 24th, 2012
11:38 am

I’ve been there…. I live in a very very modest / affordable (read older) condo in midtown, and when I was making 65K to 70K per year, I did not have much $$$ left after paying all of the bills. You would be surprised at what you have left in your paycheck after taxes and etc are taken out … I think I took home around between 1/2 to 2/3 of my pay after all the deductions … I was taking home around $1500 per 2 weeks … one check was the mortgage and the other was utilities and living expenses …

4 More Years.....

July 24th, 2012
11:57 am

And the absolute worst is yet to come…..OBOZO in 2012……

Get real

July 24th, 2012
12:22 pm

@ 4 More Years – and you think R-Money is any better??

Facts that hurt

July 24th, 2012
2:18 pm

It doesn’t matter who the POTUS, the economic engine is broken thanks to Government and Wall St. Accept a lower standard of living, most Americans will never retire. A recession/depression is coming, you better be locked n loaded. God Bless America.

Bobby

July 24th, 2012
3:01 pm

I am been living paycheck to paycheck but things are improving. I’ve recently restored AT&T U-verse to my house. I can see substantial improvements within the next three years. My house is way upside down but even with that my mortgage is lower than almost anything I could rent for the size so I’m doing alright. Not great and I still can’t renew my season tickets to Georgia Tech or the Saints yet but I’m getting there.

A. S. Mathew

July 24th, 2012
3:44 pm

More budget and belt tightening habit will be developing in everybody’s mind. Our life style will be forced backward with minimum comforts of life.

4 More Years.....

July 24th, 2012
4:00 pm

@Get real…R-money any better? Any one is better than OBOZO….Communism doesn’t work….You must have missed the high school years when history was taught……

Next Tuesday

July 24th, 2012
4:07 pm

And people are considering raising local taxes by 1%.

Alphare

July 24th, 2012
4:12 pm

it is entirely possible if Romn becomes prez, federal government jobs will be shipped overseas.

Alphare

July 24th, 2012
4:17 pm

the biggest thorn to me in this country is gas prices, along with it the hiked prices on almost all other products.

My family are doing a whole lot better number-wise than a few years ago, while the leftover is much smaller.

Hiked prices combined with cheap labor in China and India do the country in. Not Obama or democrats. If Republicans have the magic wand, why didn’t they wave it in Bush’s last year then?

No shortage of Idiots

July 24th, 2012
4:25 pm

@ 4 More Years “ny one is better than OBOZO….Communism doesn’t work….You must have missed the high school years when history was taught……”

And you must have missed senior year Government class, or didn’t pass. You can’t graduate from High School without a passing Government, can you? Oh I see… Poor thing.

Will

July 24th, 2012
4:38 pm

it seems that years of class warfare and anti business, anti accomplishment rhetoric from the president have taken a toll. Every generation or so Americans have to learn that the socialistic policies of the left always fail and always fail in this way. Obama is a loser in the same way that Jimmy Carter was a loser. Their policies always lead to a stagnant economy and decling living standards. His failed policies have hit the poor the hardest.
Just like last time, we will likely learn our lesson and banish the Obama and the left wing socialistic agenda to the dustbin of politics for another generation for our children to learn the same lesson in twenty five years or so.

woodrow

July 24th, 2012
5:53 pm

And 99% of them are ticked off that Apple is hiding billions of dollars in tax shelters while the government goes broke.

Montrell

July 24th, 2012
8:02 pm

I think more people are living paycheck to paycheck and fewer are saving for the future because we’ve been programmed to believe that Uncle Sugar will take care of us.

It’s the safety net mentality, and it’s only reinforced when we see failing businesses getting government bailouts and what seems like half the country on food stamps and other public assistance.

haha

July 24th, 2012
8:07 pm

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ah aha ha ah ah ahahahahahahaha :)

joker

monroe

July 24th, 2012
9:57 pm

i had to use up all my savings when I got laid off—the government needs to give me a lot more benefits since I can’t find any good jobs.

yard man

July 25th, 2012
6:17 am

when I lost my job a couple years ago, I started mowing lawns, now my lanscaping business nets over $50 K plus benefits, Co. truck etc.. wife makes over $40 K waiting tables at Outback 35 hrs. per week.. we both have college degrees.. don’t believe Obama.. you can get a job/start a small business

Independent voter

July 25th, 2012
6:23 am

way more folks in poverty, Huge increase in food stamps, disability claims up, real unemployment & under employment.. counting those who have given up, is over 17 %.. got any Hope or Change left ?? socialism does not work.. Free market capitalism does.. personal responsibilty people !!!

Clark

July 25th, 2012
8:30 am

“I live in a very very modest / affordable (read older) condo in midtown, and when I was making 65K to 70K per year, I did not have much $$$ left after paying all of the bills.”

Then you were/are a horrible money manager. Atlanta is dirt cheap; $70K goes a long way here.

WAW

July 25th, 2012
8:35 am

If you listen to the PP’s (professional posters) on these blogs, you would think the storm troopers will be arriving at any moment to take away you last dime. Ain’t so! As long as people keep voting against their own fiscal interest because they have been programmed by propaganda, the many will continue to line the pockets of the few. If folks were allowed and willing to roll their 401k’s over to Treasury Bonds, two things would happen. Wall Street would understand Free Market and adjust to reality and the wars that were put on credit cards would be covered.

I used to be one of those who was anti-anti anything, but then a friend suggested (quietly when no spins attached), “What if we are just following the herd because somebody cried wolf?” Awake! Light Bulb! New Glasses! Professional Posters and Talk Radio Entertainers stopped controlling me. I don’t agree will all government does, but I WILL NOT vote for anyone who has signed the PLEDGE! I vote for me, to hell with Wall Street and Company!

Default Settings 2.0

July 25th, 2012
9:13 am

WAW – right on ! BTW, I’m a semi pro poster.

scott

July 25th, 2012
9:37 am

romney isnt the answer but part part of the problem.. ROMNEY =GEORGE W BUSH NO2…same policies,same advisors,same trickle down freakin economics..that hasnt worked ,will not work..some things change over time ..not the republicans same old tired politics…and my fellow poor white working class and middle class contiue to fall for their trickery voting their interest away

Trolls Bane

July 25th, 2012
9:55 am

Clark,

Maybe you enjoy sitting in your car for 2 to 3 hours each day or living in the ghetto … and driving a 1979 beater ….

JC

July 25th, 2012
10:51 am

We are living above our means and I see this as a correction. Get rid of debt! I have been living by Dave Ramsey’s way (Debt Free) and my family is OK if I had debt… I would certainly be hurting as well. I know many people are hurting and I feel for them. You can buy things just use cash. The credit card companies have already demonstrated what they think about consumers. It does not matter who the President is if you’re not living on a budget and delaying pleasure you will suffer in these lean times.

Clark

July 25th, 2012
11:19 am

“Maybe you enjoy sitting in your car for 2 to 3 hours each day or living in the ghetto … and driving a 1979 beater ….”

Huh? A modest, older Midtown condo, which you claim to live in, is $200K tops (probably a lot less). Making $70K a year, you should’ve easily been able to afford the mortgage/taxes/HOAs on such a place, a new entry-level luxury car, and contributions to a 401K and/or IRA.

Michael

July 25th, 2012
12:08 pm

I eat out too much, and should be saving.

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